A Different Angle

I took some photos of my friend’s Jack Russell Terrier recently and decided that I’d do a pastel portrait of this little pooch gazing up at her owner. A different style of composition to my usual and fun to do. The portrait was a surprise gift and Pimm’s owners instantly recognised their little cutie… phew!

It’s interesting that you don’t always need to capture a pet’s face to strike a chord of familiarity to the owner, they’ll know them from any angle.

Unison pastels on Clairefontaine Pastelmat 12″ x 9″.

‘Pimms’

Fresh Fields … New Opportunities

I can’t believe it’s been almost 12 months since I last posted on my blog, but it has been a busy period! Since last December, we have sold our home in Scotland and moved 200 miles south to our new home in Herefordshire. Moving during a pandemic has been… well, challenging shall we say, but we are now settled in a lovely village with a friendly community.

Although I miss my pals up north, it has meant that we are now closer to family and will see more of them.

Fresh fields mean new opportunities and I’ve now got my studio set up and cracking on with commissions and other work, meeting new people and getting involved in art societies as well as village life.

I’ll be posting much more regularly than in the past year, so watch this space!

In the meantime, here are a few recent works which have been produced in my new space.

Quadruple Portrait – Acrylic on Canvas
Head Study – Pencil on Paper
Sheepdog Pup – Pastel on Pastelmat

Coast to Coast

Well it’s been a wee while since my last blog and it’s not as if I haven’t had spare time to write one… thank you Covid 19!  So here is something a bit different to my usual animal portraits.

Lanark is a market town close to where I live in Scotland and in the town there is a beautiful old building called the Tolbooth, which is used for various events including art exhibitions.

I am proud to be part of the Tolbooth Artists group and our summer exhibition which closes on 12 September has a theme of Coasts and Rivers.  The pieces of work displayed by local artists have been wonderful, giving visitors plenty to enjoy in a Covid-safe environment.

I was delighted to find out that both of my paintings submitted, have been sold.  A large acrylic on canvas of the setting sun on Arran (just off the west coast of Scotland) and a small pastel painting of moonlit waves – two coastal scenes but different in size, subject and medium used.  Both fun to do and both now in new homes.

Coast to coast!

Setting Sun On Arran

Moonlit Waves

 

‘Brooke, Action For Working Horses and Donkeys’ Art Auction & Exhibition 2019

I was approached a few weeks’ ago by an old school friend, Ann on Facebook to see if I would like to donate a piece of art for an upcoming Art Exhibition & Auction being held in Chester, U.K. by the Brooke organisation which helps working horses, donkeys & mules around the world.

It educates the owners to work their animals without causing distress or suffering. Of course, I wanted to do my bit and contribute to such a great cause, so after a chat with Ann about what would be suitable and her help with the text to accompany the artwork, I found a reference photo by Leslie Charlesworth which was available to use with his permission and modified it to produce a pastel painting called ‘Resignation’.

The title explains the feeling that this mare has, as you can see what she is dealing with in the reflection of her eye if you look closely.

I hope that the auction raises a good amount for the Brooke organisation to further their work.

Lily

This Unison pastel painting on Pastelmat is of my studio assistant, looking pensive.  I like slightly unusual poses of animals to work on – candid shots can produce interesting portraits.

Pastelmat paper by Clarefontaine is a slightly unusual surface to use, almost like a very, very fine sandpaper so that the ‘tooth’ of the paper texture holds the chalkiness of pastels.  I found it a tricky paper to use to start with but the more I use it the easier it gets and the end result makes for a smooth pastel painting, great for details.

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Oz Dogs

These two beauts, Kiku and Kura, are owned by friends who live in Australia.  They both have faces full of character and expression and I couldn’t resist trying to capture them.  They are done with soft pastels (Unison) on Pastelmat paper which has a good ‘tooth’ for holding pastel.  Fortunately, the drawings/paintings survived their global journey from the UK to the other side of the planet and arrived unscathed within a fortnight.  Amazing!  Well done postal service.

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Something New…

I found these pre-packed mounts in Cass Art and thought I would try doing some smaller pastels to fit them.  I’ve made a start with a little Westie and a German Shepherd just to see how they do on my wall at the Garrion Bridges Antiques and Art centre.

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As well as improving the presentation of the paintings, it allows the buyer to use or select their own frame which they can buy ‘off the peg’ as the mounts are standard sizes.  The clear sleeves protect the pastels and allows a price to be attached to the painting without any damage to the paper or the mount.

Let’s see how they do.

 

Deerhound

This is the latest addition to my stock of artwork for sale at the Garrion Bridges Art & Antiques Centre.  “Olive”, the deerhound has featured on this blog before and her pastel painting is now waiting for a new owner.  I decided to pop this pastel onto a pre-cut mount, rather than having it framed, to give the buyer the opportunity to select their own frame, so we’ll see if this proves a good idea or not.  If so, I’ll try a few more – back to the drawing board….literally! 🤓

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